Dunaway’s Crossing
Fiction , Health , History , Interviews , Savannah , Utrinque Paratus / October 27, 2017

Dunaway’s Crossing Nancy Brandon   On L2L: October 27, 2017 (click to listen to the episode)   About the 1918–1919 Influenza Pandemic Ninety-nine years ago, populations across the globe faced a great foe—influenza. During the pandemic, which started in spring 1918 and continued into the following year, nearly one-third of the world’s population had been infected. By the end, it is estimated that the virus had taken the lives of nearly 20 million to 50 million people. The pandemic came in three waves—the worst of which occurred in October of 1918. It has been called “the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history” (Billings 2005: ¶1). Nearly a century has past, but it is not to be forgotten. In Washington this month, for example, the World Bank hosted a pandemic simulation, attempting to prepare global leaders in multiple sectors for the possibility of a new epidemic—perhaps a strain of the flu, perhaps some other illness—but something which experts say will come “[p]robably sooner than we expect” (Sun 2017: ¶5). And public health professionals and other leaders have urged a commitment to global health and the need for planning and preparations. About the Book Bea Dot Ferguson has a life many…

Conrad Aiken and “A Letter From Li Po”

Conrad Aiken and “A Letter From Li Po” Orlando Montoya   On L2L: October 20, 2017 (click to listen to the episode)   About the Event “Snow”: The Conrad Aiken Festival An evening of poetry and prose readings, words to inspire curious minds, and an ice cream social, all centered on the writer’s brilliant short story “Silent Snow, Secret Snow” Hosted by Orlando Montoya 7 p.m., Saturday, October 28, 2017 Unitarian-Universalist Church of Savannah 311 E Harris St, Savannah, GA 31401 (Troup Square, Habersham and Macon streets) For more information: http://www.uusavannah.org/ About Conrad Aiken In 1889, writer Conrad Aiken was born in Savannah. During his lifetime, he became known as a poet, playwright, essayist, and novelist. Scholar Jay Martin, in a 1962 book titled Conrad Aiken: A Life of His Art, calls Aiken “one of the most prolific of modern American writers” (Martin 1962: 3). Aiken’s first book was published in 1914, and he later served as a Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress — a position we now call the U.S. Poet Laureate — and earned honors such as the Bollingen Prize in Poetry, the Gold Medal in Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a…

From “N-Word” to Mr. Mayor

From “N-Word” to Mr. Mayor: Experiencing the American Dream Otis S. Johnson   On L2L: September 8, 2017 (click to listen to the episode)   About the Book The biographical book From “N-Word” to Mr. Mayor: Experiencing the American Dream is Dr. Otis S. Johnson’s firsthand account of his compelling journey experiencing the American Dream during Jim Crow to the 21st century. Dr. Johnson was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1942. It was his intent to use his life’s journey as an example of how people, especially of his generation, had to struggle with being called the “N word” all of their lives, no matter how much they achieved in society. While he decided to be politically correct with the title—a title that, like the author, is complex and multilayered—the contents in the book reflect his life as a black person living in the United States of America. The book documents his journey through the Jim Crow era, the civil rights movement, affirmative action, becoming mayor of Savannah, and experiencing the positives and negatives of being black during President Barack Obama’s terms in office. About the Author Many know Otis Samuel Johnson, Ph.D., as the sixty-fourth mayor of Savannah. After serving…

Show Me a Kindness
Fiction , Health , History , Interviews , Savannah , Utrinque Paratus / September 1, 2017

Show Me a Kindness Nancy Brandon   On L2L: September 1, 2017 (click to listen to the episode)   About the Book Show Me a Kindness is set during the Great Depression. While the book’s protagonist, Marthanne Hendrix, is originally from Savannah, Marthanne discovers that she has moved to rural Vidalia, with no memory of how she got there. Inexplicably, she can’t remember certain days, she finds unrecognizable clothes hanging in her closet, and some of her neighbors seem to call her Oma. Marthanne quickly realizes that she is haunted by memories of another life—and another self. With gossip running rampant in Vidalia, Marthanne and Oma confront their greatest fear: commitment to an asylum in Milledgeville. Only one new friend knows their secret—a domestic worker named Comfort, who herself is dealing with the stigma of being African American in the Jim Crow South. About the Author Nancy Brandon was perhaps destined to be a writer. Although she was born in Atlanta, after only a few days, she and her parents moved south to Hawkinsville, where her mother edited and wrote columns for the Hawkinsville Dispatch and News. Nancy worked as a paper girl to support her fledgling writing career, and…

Apollonia
Fiction , Interviews , Savannah , Utrinque Paratus / August 25, 2017

Apollonia Christopher Leppek   On L2L August 25, 2017 (click to listen to the episode)   About the Book Apollonia is an action-adventure mystery set during the U.S. Civil War. It tells the journey of protagonist Jonathan Chase, a man from today’s time—the 21st century—who inexplicably finds himself in 1864 and in the midst of one of America’s “darkest hours.” Jonathan’s time travel is the result of his obsession with an old photograph of a woman from Savannah, named Apollonia Foley. In pursuing Apollonia into the past, Jonathan gets entangled in a Civil War conspiracy that he doesn’t quite understand, and at times he is unsure what side he and Apollonia are fighting for. About the Author Since before he could grow a mustache, Christopher Leppek has made his living as a writer. He is a professional journalist, long associated with Denver’s Intermountain Jewish News as a reporter and editor. His freelance work has appeared in the The New York Times, the Rocky Mountain News, the Navy Times, The Pueblo Chieftain, and many other publications. He is the author of the mystery novel The Surrogate Assassin, a Sherlock Holmes pastiche, and the co-author, with Emanuel Isler, of the horror novels…